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Open Access Overexpression of TIMP-1 in Embryonic Stem Cells Attenuates Adverse Cardiac Remodeling Following Myocardial Infarction

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Transplanted embryonic stem (ES) cells, following myocardial infarction (MI), contribute to limited cardiac repair and regeneration with improved function. Therefore, novel strategies are still needed to understand the effects of genetically modified transplanted stem cells on cardiac remodeling. The present study evaluates whether transplanted mouse ES cells overexpressing TIMP-1, an antiapoptotic and antifibrotic protein, can enhance cardiac myocyte differentiation, inhibit native cardiac myocyte apoptosis, reduce fibrosis, and improve cardiac function in the infarcted myocardium. MI was produced in C57BL/6 mice by coronary artery ligation. TIMP-1-ES cells, ES cells, or culture medium (control) were transplanted into the peri-infarct region of the heart. Immunofluorescence, TUNEL staining, caspase-3 activity, ELISAs, histology, and echocardiography were used to identify newly differentiated cardiac myocytes and assess apoptosis, fibrosis, and heart function. Two weeks post-MI, significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced engraftment and cardiac myocyte differentiation was observed in TIMP-1-ES cell-transplanted hearts compared with hearts transplanted with ES cells and control. Hearts transplanted with TIMP-1-ES cells demonstrated a reduction in apoptosis as well as an increase (p< 0.05) in p-Akt activity compared with ES cells or culture media controls. Infarct size and interstitial and vascular fibrosis were significantly (p< 0.05) decreased in the TIMP-1-ES cell group compared to controls. Furthermore, MMP-9, a key profibrotic protein, was significantly (p < 0.01) reduced following TIMP-1-ES cell transplantation. Echocardiography data showed fractional shortening and ejection fraction were significantly (p< 0.05) improved in the TIMP-1-ES cell group compared with respective controls. Our data suggest that transplanted ES cells overexpressing TIMP-1 attenuate adverse myocardial remodeling and improve cardiac function compared with ES cells that may have therapeutic potential in regenerative medicine.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Fibrosis; Heart; MMP; Stem cells; TIMP-1

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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